Dead Heart Bloom Interview
Boris Skalsky is a man who prefers to go at it alone. "Being in bands for most of my life, it's the first time I am able to call all the shots myself. Initially, this is very liberating. Maybe my tastes will change, but, for now, I like having that freedom."
Skalsky is Dead Heart Bloom, the name he chose after his previous outfit, Phaser, called it a career. It didn't take long for critics to notice. One publication called DHB "a new artist to keep an eye on in 2006. Armed with twelve new tracks, critical acclaim, and a will to succeed, Boris Skalsky is set to make it break it, but on his own terms.
Here is an interview conducted recently with Boris Skalsky. Enjoy.
Is it comforting to know that it's all in your hands?
Yes. On the other hand, there is no one to blame for any mistakes or mis-steps but yourself. So, although it's comforting, it's also a little unnerving. There are also times I miss being able to bounce ideas off another musician immediately. Now, it's me and the studio and my own instincts.
You've said that anger is a great motivator. How does the anger manifest for you?
I think I've actually burned through that anger. It was only a flash to begin with. But when it was there, it was the usual childish, schoolyard mentality of "I'll show them."
What song on your CD most represents the manifestation of anger?
If you could play "Folsom Prison Blues" to/for Johnny Cash, speculate on what his reaction might be.
I think he might respect a transformation of his song because it's what he did so well to other's songs on his last three or four records. Of course, that's being presumptuous that he would even hear this version,or care.
"Listen as I find you a song
Listen as I find you a poem
Listen as the wind bring you down
Every cobbled graveyard in town."
I love these lyrics. Who are you singing them to?
Mainly the listener. The song, taken literally, sets up the rest of the record. Sort of a prelude. "Listen...".
Do you enjoy ambiguity?
I enjoy the record being a little hard to pin down. My favorite records are exactly like that. The White Album is the best example. Stylistically, that record is all over the place. Yet it hangs together and is a work of art. It doesn't bother me that people say my record is stylistically "ambiguous." Although the songs are different from one another, I think the style is cohesive.
I was reading recently where Jason Lytle of Grandaddy said he was a huge fan of Electric Light Orchestra. I'm sensing you might be fan as well, esp. with some of the orchestration you utilize. Would I be correct?
I recently re-discovered them. I knew some of the more popular songs for a long time and disregarded them. Then a friend played me a whole record, and some of the deep tracks were great. It helps that they are very Beatles influenced.
Much of what I've read describe either you or your music as dark. What brings you happiness and joy?
The same things, I think, as everyone else. It's just that these things are not as interesting to sing about.
Control is a word you seem to place great value in. Explain why?
If you mean control of your musical destiny, yes, I place a high value in that. But not in the negative sense of a "control freak." There's nothing wrong with working with others, collaborating, etc., if it's someone you respect. I just want to see my vision on each song through to the end. If it's the wrong path, then at least I will have followed it and failed with some integrity.
Having been born and raised in New York, I know how easy it is to get lost in the shuffle. How will you keep that from happening to DHB?
Ultimately, I think you can't keep that from happening or not happening because it is somewhat out of your control. And if you worry about it, then that becomes the focus of your obsessions, instead of obsessing about music. The best method I know of is to keep pounding at the door and not be ashamed of the pounding.
Find out more about Dead Heart Bloom at www.deadheartbloom.com. In fact, you can download DHB's debut in its entirety.